Nick Cannon and Mariah Carey have only been separated a few months, but their divorce talks have already taken a turn for the worse. After Mariah’s lawyers hit Nick with a gag order preventing him from commenting publicly on the separation, he retaliated the only way he could: stepping out in New York City on Aug. 26 wearing a baseball cap emblazoned with the word SAVED, which an insider says was a direct message to Mariah that he’s relieved to be finally free of their six-year marriage.
But snarky fashion statements are just the tip of the iceberg. The exes are gearing up for an epic battle over 3-year-old twins Moroccan and Monroe. Nick is gunning for full custody, concerned about Mariah’s emotional stability. “Nick says Mariah cares more about herself than tending to the children,” says the insider. “She stays up all night drinking champagne, analyzing pictures of herself and obsessing over how she’s aging—and then sleeps all day.” And while Mariah likes to project an image of the doting mom, posting cutesy family photos on social media, Nick says she leaves the real mothering to a staff of nannies—whom she fires when she senses them getting too close to the kids. (Mariah has admitted as much, saying she axes nannies all the time because “they try to make themselves more important in the baby’s mind than me.”) Nick, on the other hand, is a very hands-on dad, the insider says: “When he’s home, he’s giving them baths, changing them, reading to them. He feels like it brings normalcy to their lives.”
Still, the source says, Mariah is dead set on making Nick look like an unfit dad, and plans to point to his busy work schedule and hard-partying lifestyle—as well as rumored infidelities with model Jasmine sanders and Wild ‘N Out costar Brittany Dailey (who has denied hooking up with Nick). “Mariah has suspected Nick of being unfaithful all along, and intends to use it against him,” the insider says. The suspicion cuts both ways, though: The source adds that Nick believes Mariah has had inappropriate relationships with bodyguards and trainers, adding, “He knows she hasn’t been innocent.”
Complicating matters further: Mariah’s financial woes. Nick signed a prenup with the singer, who was then worth $510 million, but since they married in 2008, she’s burned through a lot of that cash amid a stagnating career. (Her latest album, released in May, sold just over 100,000 copies.) Meanwhile, Nick’s career has soared. Between hosting America’s Got Talent, deejaying, producing and developing a line of back-to- school products, he’s now worth an estimated $20 million—and Mariah thinks she deserves a piece! “She claims that marrying her allowed him more opportunities than he would have gotten before,” says the insider. “But Nick says she’s nuts. Mariah’s used to getting what she wants, but Nick will fight her tooth and nail for the money.”
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